All recipes are for 2 servings unless noted. Oil is canola oil and salt is kosher salt.


Fuki no to-iri iritamago / scrambled egg with Japanese butterbur buds

An easy way to enjoy the bitterness of early spring. While plain-tasting oil is the usual choice for iritamago scrambled eggs, below it is cooked with toasted sesame oil for extra aroma. Oil and eggs soften the bitterness in general, yet fuki no to butterbur buds can be overwhelmingly bitter, depending on climate, time from harvest, etc. If unsure, first try only half of the specified amount, or soak them in water for at least one hour (or blanch if in a hurry; see Notes). Iritamago can be served as is. The photo below shows my favorite way -- a topping for plain steamed rice.

1/2 of recipe (steamed rice excluded):
92 calories; 6.6 g protein; 6.3 g fat; 1.5 g carbohydrate; 5.7 g net carbs; 116 mg sodium; 214 mg cholesterol; 0.6 g fiber


2 fuki no to Japanese butterbur buds
2 eggs
1/2 tsp shiokoji salted rice malt
1/2 tsp sesame oil


Lightly beat egg, add shiokoji, and mix well.


Heat sesame oil in frying pan.


Chop fuki no to. Remove any discolored (dark) parts.


Saute fuki no to on medium heat.
When fuki no to is coated with oil and cooked through, pour egg mixture, and mix.

Ready to serve.

  • The surface of fuki no to quickly darkens when exposed to air. For this reason, make sure to be ready to saute immediately after chopping them up (thus, sesame oil is heated first above).
  • If shiokoji is not at hand, a tiny pinch of salt and 1 tbsp sake and mirin (equal parts) would work. If you like something sweeter, add more mirin or a pinch of sugar. 
  • To quickly reduce the bitterness of fuki no to, blanch (in briskly boiling water, after removing discolored parts), transfer to ice water, and soak as long as time allows. Squeeze out excess water before chopping them up for main cooking.

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